Metallica's Hammett: 'Being a Musician Is Much Cooler Than Being an Actor'

Meanwhile, Lars Ulrich names favorite Megadeth song, new bands, talks cutting hair back in '90s and more.

Ultimate Guitar

Discussing the latest "Through the Never" 3D film, members of Metallica decided to share their thoughts on the film industry along the way.

Known for his interest of the movie domain, drummer Lars Ulrich shared a similar stance as always, whereas guitarist Kirk Hammett described the album-making process as far superior to making movies.

"You really wanna know?" Kirk asked Rolling Stone. "Being a musician is much more fun and much more cooler than being an actor. I just get such a bigger feeling from making albums with your band. It's the four of you with maybe the engineer and the producer. I thought that making a movie would be similar to making an album, but I was totally, completely wrong.

"It's the four of you, then the directors, the producers and all the production people," he continued. "All these people have opinions of how the movie should unfold; it's just amazing because you need all these people and you have to listen to their opinions because they might be valid. It's strange because it takes a lot more people to make a movie than it does an album. Now that we've actually been through it and experienced it, I can say that it's a fun project, but I'm glad I'm a musician."

The band previously admitted that the film flopped at the box offices; now asked whether they'd consider making another one, Hammett replied: "In a heartbeat, just as long as someone else was paying for it. Not only is it a different experience, but it's crazy how expensive it is to make a movie. It's much more expensive to make a movie than it is to make a piece of music."

During a separate Reddit AMA session, Lars discussed several interesting subjects, including Megadeth, best new bands and his receding hairline. Asked by a fan to name a single favorite Megadeth track, Ulrich briefly replied: "My Last Words."

When it comes to his relationship with Dave Mustaine, the drummer noted that "it hasn't changed. I respect him as a musician and I will always love him as a brother and as a part of Metallica."

Asked to single out favorite fresh acts, Lars picked Baroness and Kvelertak, sharing his stance on the state of metal along the way. "I think it would be so awesome if there was a band that come along and shook it all up again," he said. "I just don't know who. I think the coolest band for me in the last couple years is Baroness. I also love Norwegian band Kvelertak. But I just don't know if any of these bands can take it to those heights unfortunately."

Finally, Ulrich discussed Metallica's controversial decision to cut their hair back in the '90s. "It had nothing to do with marketing whatsoever," he noted. "It was five years between the 'Black Album' and 'Load' and in that timespan the members of Metallica at various points decided individually to trim their hair length. It stunned us to the point of disbelief that people actually gave a shit about our hair when the record came out. But it was nothing to do with image or marketing or any of that nonsense."


39 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I decided to look up 'My Last Words' on Spotify after reading this. Guess what riff I'm gonna learn tomorrow
    love lars... he is misunderstood a lot of times... AND Metallica plz plz dying for ur new material.... :*
    Larsie is very kewl. I think ofttimes people underestimate, or are just plainly ignorant of, his huge contribution to Metallica, and to the metal also. \m/ Why not check out this onstage drum battle between him and James?
    i agree with the musician over actor thing. what is better, writing music and getting your message and creativeness heard or reading a script. There are exceptions and loads of artists dont write their own stuff and some actors are also writers, but i would rather be in 80s metallica than some blockbuster film
    I just feel like over the years of hype that the new album won't be that good. It could be easily be just a mediocre release, leading to massive disappointment. All of this Metallica press is just worrying me.
    'Asked by a fan to name a single favorite Megadeth track, Ulrich briefly replied: "My Last Words." ' That IS an awesome track! The end section is particularly excellent, with the soloing, drumming and vox. \m/
    Even though I like Metallica, "Through the Never" bored 5 shades of shit out of me. Please, new album. Please...
    Excuse me, but I sincerely can't understand how watching a band you "like" perform in the big screen, in 3D, surrounding audio and all that riff-raff, can be boring. I mean, I understand if you didn't like the parts with Trip, but the concert itself was something out of this world for a fan like me.
    Yeah, the parts with Trip were exactly the ones who ruined it for me. Pretty boring, in my opinion. And if you take them away, all you get is a Metallica concert. And the concert... well, I've been to a Metallica gig before. It was good, but didn't blow me away. And come on... Live Shit can't even be compared to this. That was the pinnacle of their live performances, some 20 years ago.
    "That was the pinnacle of their live performances, some 20 years ago." As good as Live Shit is, it is certainly not their best live stuff...Their tour in 1985 and 1986 were way better, James' voice was simply amazing and Cliff's death definitely changed their sound significantly. There's some free bootleg shows on Live Metallica if you want an example. (1985 SF and 1986 London, about a week before Cliff's death are my recommendations) That said, Metallica's live shows as of late have been definitely up there with San Diego style Live Shit at least, if not Seattle. James has his voice back and while Kirk and Lars still need to practice more, they're getting better than they were in 2010. (I saw them then and 2013, 2013 Metallica was a far, far better show despite a slightly worse setlist IMO.)
    Just like watching the Live Shit concert. Fucking awesome performance.
    I agree, SB. The band's performance was phucking unbelieveable brilliant! They were just -too- good, -too- kewl. The narrative was kewl, also, but I was so focused on, and blown away by, the 'Tallica boys' performance that I failed to connect the diff. narrative scenes with the specific songs. I will be interested in viewing the connexion once I get the DVD and view it again. \m/
    The whole response to cutting their hair thing was really silly. I thought thrash metal was a response to glam which was extremely image based. Thrash metallers had long hair and tattered clothes as a response to the fashionable rockers. They were displaying a "I don't give a flying **** how I look attitude, I'm here to play music" attitude. But by the mid 90s, that whole image had become popular and they were expected to look that way. Then they cut their hair and stopped looking that way and people responded as if they were betraying the "fashion means nothing" attitude by dressing differently. Even though the point was image was not supposed to matter. It is stupid how people thought that the image change was somehow supposed to make them more money. The Black Album made more money than anything for them, so if they wanted to make as much money they would do the exact same thing dressed exactly the same. Instead they decided to slightly change their lifestyle, and their clothing choices reflected that. But "true" fans got upset as if they were betrayed because of a hair cut. I thought music was about more than what hair style a person chooses.
    Frank M
    Kirk is one fantistic axeman...don't give up the music for the movies...we like you where you are. thanks! FM
    Testing the retarded little swear filter--don't mind me. **** Fuck FUCK **** Cunt CUNT mother**** mother****er . Swearwords are a valid part of the English language (check your dictionary), are often versatile, and offer a powerful form of textual and verbal expression. Asterisks are for secure password entry. So phuck your kunting swear filter. This is the internets. Freedom of speech! \m/
    Music > movies. Most movies these days are phucking gae, lowbrow, highly-predictable Hollywood shit, containing little more than good looking gunts and OTT special effects. An interesting reflection of today's society. \m/
    Society has been deteriorating since day one. In the 19th century, people complained about the deterioration of society to the unruly mob lacking true morality and intellect. In the middle ages people complained about the deterioration of society. In the early AD era around 500 AD people complained about the deterioration of society. At the height of the Ancient Greeks people complained about the deterioration of society, even some of their greatest thinkers. People tend to think of the past through golden glasses and that the present is SO much more worse. Societies evolve and go through highs and lows and evolve through different phases. Still though, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
    Complain when UG reports on music without guitars. Thumbs up article about how being a musician is cool, and Lars cutting his hair. UG Logic
    I still liked Kirk in that episode of the short-lived Comedy Central show "Jon Benjamin Has A Van".